In four progress reports adopted today, the Commission is calling on all parties to sustain and further accelerate the good progress made in managing irregular migration flows, protecting the EU external borders and supporting the frontline Member States under pressure.
With 27,695 persons relocated so far, the EU relocation mechanism is working and delivering results. It is crucial that Member States relocate all eligible candidates from Italy and Greece as swiftly as possible. The EU-Turkey Statement continues to ensure consistently low numbers of irregular arrivals in Greece and enabled almost 10,000 Syrians to be resettled to the EU. During the summer months, irregular crossings and deaths in the Central Mediterranean decreased significantly, reflecting also the concerted efforts by the EU, in particular Italy. The tools of the European Border and Coast Guard are now in place, but more efforts are needed from Member States to take full advantage of the Agency’s expanded mandate on returns.
European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “All EU actors have worked hard together to manage migration flows, to protect our external borders and to support the frontline Member States. We’re on the right track and the results can be seen on the ground. However, the challenges and risk factors of migration remain. So we must continue to improve our work to save lives, to put in place safe and legal pathways for those who deserve protection and to return those who have no right to stay.”
Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: “When Europe works together in a spirit of responsibility and solidarity, we make progress and achieve concrete results, both inside and outside the EU. We can clearly see this today – with irregular flows reduced and legal resettlement of refugees increased, the operationalisation on the ground of a common European Border and Coast Guard, and the joint actions taken in support of Italy and along the Central Mediterranean route. We also see intra-EU solidarity: with the relocation programme delivering results and almost all registered applicants having been relocated from Greece and Italy. This success now needs to be sustained on all these fronts.”